North Carolina schools prepare to close as teachers flock to state Capitol

May 16 23:00 2018

Thousands of teachers will take their voice to Raleigh, North Carolina on Wednesday for the “March for Students and Rally for Respect” event.

Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore made clear they have no plans to funnel more money to classrooms by postponing January’s planned tax cuts, including one for what is already one of the country’s lowest corporate income taxes. She said lawmakers and state government have let teachers down by failing to equip them properly to do their job.

“Long-term salary growth is in fact what North Carolina teachers need, and that’s exactly what they got”. “And that’s what they got”.

Last year, North Carolina ranked 39th in the country for teacher pay, with an average of $49,970, according to a National Education Association report. While teacher pay is rising in the state, stats published last week by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that North Carolina is [one of the three worst states for teacher pay] (https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/a-look-at-teacher-pay-across-the-united-states-in-2017.htm), not far ahead of Oklahoma. “Much of what we’re hearing is politically motivated”. Cook says he thinks the teachers are caught up in a national movement after demonstrations in West Virginia, Arizona and elsewhere. It also wants lawmakers to restore funding for public schools to pre-recession levels and approve a $1.9 billion school construction bond. “We’re sold out both Tuesday night and Wednesday night”, said Leon Cox, general manager at the Sheraton Raleigh. Assuming some classrooms have approximately 30 students in them, imagine the difference we could make in the quality of education if proper funding was possible: that’s $72,000 per classroom to fund updated resources, materials and adequate staffing to serve the needs of all students.

Rob Jackson, superintendent of the Edenton-Chowan Public Schools, didn’t say how many teachers have asked for leave on Wednesday, but his district plans to remain open that day.

“We’ve come together to discuss and present our legislative issues that affect our community, including, of course, education”, he said. With the state’s largest school districts – and about one in seven districts across the state – canceling classes that day because of expected widespread teacher absences, estimates are that about half the state’s public school students will have a day off from school on Wednesday. He says he thinks teachers know the legislature is on the right track with five years of salary raises and merit-based bonuses. Democratic Governor Roy Cooper has proposed to allocate less than $100 million to increase teachers’ salaries this year, promising only that their pay might reach parity with the national average over the next four years. The strikes have worked in other states, In Oklahoma teachers won an average $6,000 dollar raise. Over 7,452 N.C. teacher assistants have been lost since 2008.

– Invest more in spending per student. We also have to provide the money so students can have the proper infrastructure. We rank ninth out of the 12 states in the Southeast. Teachers are the very best of people. Not only did Republicans redraw the state’s congressional map (later declared unconstitutional) and pass the infamous bathroom bill (later partially repealed), but they also slashed funding for school supplies and textbooks, scrapped a cap on classroom size, and eliminated pay raises for veteran teachers and those with advanced degrees.

Over the past several months, hundreds of thousands of teachers and support staff have engaged in statewide walkouts in West Virginia, Oklahoma and Arizona, and other strikes and protests in Kentucky, Colorado, New Jersey and many other states, plus the USA territory of Puerto Rico.

North Carolina teachers want better pay and they're marching to fight for it

North Carolina schools prepare to close as teachers flock to state Capitol
 
 
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